Saturday, April 14, 2007

Firebomb Fritz

I randomly happened upon a series of illustration art from WWII, available through the British National Archives, called "The Art of War." In particular, I was drawn to a poster series of 'Firebomb Fritz.'

"Fritz is awakened" by Reginald Mount, 1942. Ink, inkwash & gouache on board.

As quoted from the National Archives site:

Advertiser's Weekly, discussing the earlier poster in September 1941, describe the new campaign on behalf of the Ministry of Home Security, intended to impress upon ‘the-man-in-the-street' his responsibility for fighting fire bombs (which caused some of the most expensive damage of the war). The use of the cartoon element was a novelty, with an animated incendiary bomb whose expression – comic, rather than terrifying – was intended to reassure people of the harmlessness of incendiaries if tackled in time, and believed to more effective than any number of slogans.

If you go to this section of the website you can view a bunch of selected artwork from the period, and even zoom in on it. Look for the 'previous' and 'next' buttons at the bottom of the page.

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